Obama administration continues to alienate Israel

Posted on April 17, 2009


Once close allies, after the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency, almost overnight the relations between Israel and America have taken a chilly turn for the worse. The Age, an Australian newspaper, goes into further detail, calling conversations between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “taking on all the trappings of a duel.”

Israelis are being alienated by what they see as the Obama administration dictating to them what a final peace with Palestine will look like. Now, according to the article, no less than Rahm Emanuel is using Israeli fears of Iranian nukes to urge Israel to give up the West Bank. Mr. Emanuel is reported to have told Jewish leaders in Washington that if Israel wants American help in defusing tensions with Iran, Israel had better be prepared to evacuate settlements in the West Bank.

It’s been an open question since the inauguration whether the Obama administration would support Israel if it decided to take a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. From what I’ve seen so far, I would have to think “no.” If reports are true, then it’s shameful to use the very real of threat of a nuclear Iran to coerce Israel to give up territory. Why the administration is rushing to push away a staunch American ally and a vital democracy in the region escapes me. At the same time, the recent decision to drop opposition to the terrorist organization Hamas being a part of a future Palestinian Authority government troubles me deeply

One thing you can be sure of – it’s no coincidence that a recent meeting between Obama and Netanyahu was cancelled, and that the White House announced it will not continue the tradition of hosting Israeli Prime Ministers whenever they visit, sometimes on very short notice. The chilling of relations between America and Israel at the same time Obama is performing lazy protocol gaffes in Britain and alienating French President Nicholas Sarkozy, all the while making overtures to Cuba and chumming it up with Hugo Chavez – none of this infuses me with great confidence in a foreign policy that seems to be built more on persuasive star power with a set of priorities all out of whack.

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